The two-day Quetta Literary Festival (QLF) is currently underway at the Balochistan University of Information Technology & Management Sciences (BUITEMS). Literary festivals have become a central element of the cultural milieu of the major cities such as Lahore and Karachi. But other than these big cities, not much is heard from other smaller, yet important cities. Particularly any city from the neglected province of Balochistan. The Quetta Literally Festival is here to change that.

On the first day, renowned writers, poets, artists, women rights activists, journalists and experts spoke on spoke on different topics. This included the hotly debated topic of journalism itself, with particular emphasis on the shortcomings currently present in the system. They discussed various methods to ensure a more comprehensive journalistic setup that caters to Pakistan entirely and not just the mainstream cities.

The need for an early introduction to the treasure cove that is the literary world was also addressed at the Quetta Literary Festival.

Introducing children to age-appropriate literature helps as a coping mechanism in the real world as they grow old. Addressing this at the literary festival of such scale will hopefully help parents and teachers strategize childhood exposure to literature better.

Art by students was on display as well, which only added to the rich depictions of culture at the festival.

Several political observations were made at the Quetta Literary Festival as well.

These last two tweets perhaps highlight the need for such positive events as the Quetta Literary Festival the most. Where mainstream media is busy reporting events from the more metropoliton cities, festivals like QLF help provide an outlet for neglected regions to discuss critically what needs to change. With the Pashtun Long March having to face a media blackout, the QLF was a breathing space for Pashtuns to come together and engage in more inclusive activities. Breaking the monopoly of the main cities is important, politically, but in arts and culture as well. And, the Quetta Literary Festival is a great place to start doing just that.

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